Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray is targeting players from a higher level as he plots to take the football club straight back up.
Ray says he has spoken to four players from Blue Square Bet South sides in what would appear to be an early signal of intent ahead of the 2013/14 Ryman Football League Division One South campaign.
“There’s four Conference South players that we’re speaking to,” said Ray. “We’re not here to mess about. Next year my job is to get this football club back up again.”
The players in question include an experienced central midfielder and a seasoned centre-forward, and one of them played for United a few years ago.
“No offers have been absolutely put on the table yet, but we’ve been talking to them,” Ray continued. “It’s brief discussions at the moment, but we’re hopeful that over the weekend we’ll have some good news. If not, we’ll move on to some other players.”
Asked if he plans to just tweak his squad here and there or make wholesale changes, Ray said: “It’s hard to say at the moment. It depends on who’s going to want to come in to start with, but we’re certainly looking to get six or seven new ones.
“I’ll be looking to get some experience right through the middle of the side, get a good spine about us with experience from a higher level and experience of winning leagues, and youngsters around them.”
In terms of the existing squad - which was relegated from the Premier Division a fortnight ago by a solitary point - Ray expects Sam Adams to stay on board and has made an offer to experienced defender Ben Judge.
See today’s Hastings Observer for the full article.